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Nip/Tuck - the main characters - 12

Minor spoilers.

Nip/Tuck is a great medical drama. One thing I find fascinating is that while the show is very graphic, very little of that is the direct result of violence. There is plenty of violence on the show, but in terms of people getting cut up and things like that, most of that happens in a medical / surgical setting.

Another interesting thing is how the main characters are yin-yang foils and complements of one another.

There's a good bit of complexity to explore in a lot of the characters, as well as their relationships with each other, but what I want to focus on now is the main characters, Sean and Christian.

Sean is the "mind", or the "talent". He is the ostensible good, the boy scout, the star surgeon and has the stronger moral compass between the two. He pushes for the firm to do pro bono work for people that need plastic surgery for more than just vanity.

Christian is the "body", or the "charisma". He is the ostensible bad, the play boy, the sexual deviant who has a lot of sex with a lot of different woman, drives fast cars, drinks and does drugs. He's an emotional sadist and likes to hurt people, women in particular but anyone can find themselves in his crosshairs.

But . . .

Sean cheats on his wife. In the first three seasons Sean punches his best friend and his son. In the fourth season he shows prejudice.

Christian grew up in a foster home and was abused as a child. This can explain his behavior without excusing it at least. When it comes to children he shows surprising moral fortitude, and when it comes to raising a child that isn't even his, he goes above and beyond what you would expect even of a regular person, let alone the kind of person Christian has portrayed himself as through his actions.

Another interesting thing: when they're haunted by the ghosts / wounds of their past, Sean's tend to be mental images of people following him around. Christian's tend to be physical people who find their way back into his life to make him pay for however he might have wronged them.

It's an interesting dynamic.


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